A number of parenting programs, aimed at improving parenting competencies, have recently been adapted or designed with the use of online technologies. Although web-based services have been claimed to hold promise for parent support, a meta-analytic review of online parenting interventions is lacking.
A systematic review was undertaken of studies (n = 19), published between 2000 and 2010, that describe parenting programs of which the primary components were delivered online. Seven programs were adaptations of traditional, mostly evidence-based, parenting interventions, using the unique opportunities of internet technology. Twelve studies (with in total 54 outcomes, Ntot parents = 1615 and Ntot children = 740) were included in a meta-analysis.
The meta-analysis showed a statistically significant medium effect across parents outcomes (ES = 0.67; se = 0.25) and child outcomes (ES = 0.42; se = 0.15).
The results of this review show that web-based parenting programs with new technologies offer opportunities for sharing social support, consulting professionals and training parental competencies. The meta-analytic results show that guided and self-guided online interventions can make a significant positive contribution for parents and children. The relation with other meta-analyses in the domains of parent education and web-based interventions is discussed.
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